7.4 Activities to promote students engagement

“I think posting a question or, you know, put up a notice, you know the tutorial is going to be in two weeks’ time on whatever date it is and asking a question, here’s what we’ll be discussing and I’d like you to come in with a question or I’d like you to look at a particular aspect. So, they’re actually coming to the tutorial with a question or a remark or an opinion in mind and I think that helps. Then I would ask them one by one to contribute speaking, not just in the chat box. So, I would expect them to have something done on a topic before the tutorial and I found that really helps.”

(Educator quoted in Farrell et al., 2019, p. 23)

Keeping students engaged

There can be an initial flurry of activity at the beginning of a course, both from students and educators.

It is essential to reignite student interest at regular intervals during the course.

Key to keeping students engaged is regular opportunities for interaction and feedback.

  Monitor understanding

  • Monitor student understanding at regular intervals during the course and adjust your teaching accordingly.
  • For example, use short quizzes to capture student understanding of concepts.

  Novel activities

  • Create novel activities such as online debates or online collaborative mind mapping exercises.

  Feedback opportunities

  • Provide activities that ensure effective feedback can be sought and received.
  • For example, ask students to submit a draft assignment along with one or two questions about where they require feedback for the final draft.
  • Provide individualised constructive feedback that points the student towards further information.

  Teaching Strategies

  • Use teaching strategies that are effective for the particular discipline and content.
  • For example, use synchronous live chats to establish students’ current understanding of a concept they have just covered.

  Use groupwork

  • It can be beneficial to have a group project midway through the course.
  • Prior notice of this will help students focus on engaging with learning materials early on in the course.
  • However, there are challenges associated with collaborative activities which you need to bear in mind.


#Openteach Takeaway Resource

In this chapter, we looked at how to support online students.

You can access a downloadable copy of the material here: Supporting Students.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

#Openteach: professional development for open online educators Copyright © 2021 by #Openteach project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book


Comments are closed.